What is Augmented Reality and Virtual Try-On?

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Augmented Reality (AR) has become one of the most popular technologic development trends in recent years. According to Statista, global revenue of Augmented Reality mobile apps was $725 million in 2016 and predictions show that this number will reach out to $15.5 billion by 2022.

CB Insights mentioned AR as one of the top 2020 technology trends by shaping the future of how and where people will be working remotely. (CB Insights, 2020 Tech Trends)

Today, from Nike to Gucci and Google to Instagram, many top techs and fashion firms investing and seeking ways to use AR technology.

So, what is AR?

Augmented Reality is basically defined as the technology that adds digital layers such as sounds, graphics and videos to our physical world and allowing users to experience virtual elements around. AR enables users to experience digital contents directly in the view of an existing environment around usually via a smartphone and changes according to the user’s movements in real-time.

What is the difference between Virtual Reality (VR)?

As AR doesn’t create a virtual environment to replace it with the real one, Virtual Reality on the other hand illustrates artificial environments and isolate people from the physical world with VR headsets.

Augmented Reality roots back to 1901 as science-fiction, but the term has defined as a technology to help to create Boeing pilots to visualize aircraft systems in the cockpit back in 1990.

How AR has become so popular? Back in the 90s childhood days, Pokémon could be played with cards and then on a GameBoy or Nintendo. When Pokémon has started to be forgotten in the past recent years, suddenly in 2016 all these have changed with the launch of Pokémon Go. With the AR technology, you were able to find and catch Pokémon in the world around you and the game went viral! Pokémon Go triggered AR technology to grow since then.

For example, Google Maps AR recognizes buildings and other points around and puts big digital arrows on the physical world around to direct you to where you should walk exactly. Or new Snapchat and Instagram AR filters make it way more fun to use the apps.

Google Maps AR directions. Image Credit: Google Maps

Later with the popularity of AR, these artificial layers evolved where brands started using them to add virtual signs and objects to enable consumers interacting with their products on an entirely new level where it is called Virtual Try-on.

Augmented Reality technology makes it possible for companies to offer Virtual Try-on experiences to their customers where they can try and get an accurate sense of the look, and size of brands’ products in a few seconds – from shoes and clothes to glasses and even make up!

Such as MAC Cosmetics puts virtual make up within YouTube videos, Gucci places an AR feature in its application to enable shoppers to try their sneakers line.

Gucci’s iOS app with AR. Image Credit: Gucci

As most of our habits move to a more digitalized world every day, seems like brands will be looking forward to finding out more creative ways to apply AR technology to engage with customers.

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